The deep passion for art and a business strategy that combines tradition and innovation have made Ketterer Kunst one of Europe’s most renowned auction houses sixty years after the company was founded. What began with a small gallery in Stuttgart in 1954, has been led by today’s owner Robert Ketterer, who took over management in 1994, into a new age with his ideas and visions. The specialization on a few auction fields, the early usage of the internet and an expansion of the staff, in order to increase service quality, soon made sure that sales figures reach new heights every year and that an international client base with buyers from more than 50 nations is served.
With results of more than € 2.5 million for Emil Nolde’s oil painting ‘Nadja’ from 1919, which had long been lost, two hammer prices of € 1.7 million each for paintings by Kirchner, further results in the millions for works by Vasiliy Kandinskiy and Günther Uecker, as well as three hammer prices in the millions for works by Max Pechstein (€ 1.1 million, € 1.5 million and € 3.48 million), Ketterer Kunst belongs to the small circle of auction houses with results for single items beyond the million Euro mark. Ketterer Kunst has often realized world record prices for works by acclaimed artists and has knocked down the year’s highest hammer price for an artwork in Germany several times.
Ketterer Kunst recognizes the importance of the internet as early as in the mid 1990s when it made its catalogs available online. The range of offers has been expanded over the years and it enjoys an enormous amount of visitors. The wide scope of information on artists and objects makes for an international presence in the web and for search engines. This way a large number of buyers and consignors can be reached every year. Since 2007 it is possible to buy art in internet auctions around the clock. This offer was met with instant acknowledge and has become established as an independent platform.
In late 2008 Ketterer Kunst left the company premises in Prinz-Alfons-Palais on Prinzregentenstraße and relocated to the facilities near the new Munich fairgrounds, planned and built by Ketterer Kunst. On some 3.500 square meters and three floors clients find an auction hall, bright exhibition space, as well as an art lounge with reading corner and coffee bar. By calling it ‘House for Art’ Robert Ketterer emphasizes the offers’ openness and variety. Next to occasional special- and charity auctions, exhibitions with particular focal points are organized. Especially worthwhile mentioning are events with works by Expressionists, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, to whom the house Ketterer has a special connection. An exhibition with works by the actor and painter Armin Mueller-Stahl on occasion of the opening of the new house in Munich was met with wide recognition.